Fringe: "Snakehead" Review Season 2, Episode 9


If you don't like worms, or the idea of eating worms, or the idea of worms bursting through any part of your body, this episode will certainly freak you out. But besides that, it's not too thrilling, and even kind of boring in some spots. The one truly remarkable aspect of this episode is that it provides new perspective on Walter Bishop, who is and always has been the best character in the show.


In a nutshell, this is another monster of the week episode from Fringe. Some unscrupulous people are using illegal Chinese immigrants to gestate freaky mutant worms that produce some medicine that rich folks buy to cure otherwise deadly afflictions. The Fringe team shows up, figures it out, and saves the day.


There. That's the whole gist of this episode. Not much, right? Plot certainly wasn't the strong point of this story. It used a lot of old story tropes, and basically rehashed the plot of The Transporter and added monster parasitic worms to the mix. I'd normally bash an episode like this, but I can't, for one simple reason: Walter was awesome.


In the start of the episode, Walter is just being his usual self, but then he gets a dose of the magic monster worm medicine and gets rather energized. This leads to him going on a little investigative field trip on his own. Walter's desire to get outside by himself is a reminder of how little normalcy there is in his life. For a moment, he is confident, refreshed, and eager to be out on his own and doing something productive. But this doesn't last long, and when he gets separated from Astrid, he relapses into the unstable, maladjusted Walter. He's one of the most brilliant minds on the planet, but when he's alone he can be nothing more than an overgrown child. Once he's lost in Chinatown, he is portrayed as a feeble old man that is helpless outside of the familiar environs of his lab, despite his strong desire to be independent again.


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